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What vitamins do I need to take if I have celiac?

Dr. Cynthia Rudert, Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance expert discusses the vitamins that are important to take to maximize good health if you have celiac. It's a new year and a great time to improve your health! (*Plus coming January 17, Dr. Rudert on Radio Show "Doc Talk" on Cologuard - the exciting new non-invasive colon cancer and polyp test!)

How do I know what vitamins to take if I have celiac?

Dr. Rudert answers:

I recommend vitamins to almost all my patients with celiac. There are many wonderful multivitamins and fortunately, virtually all are gluten free. Each patient's requirements may vary and for those with superimposed pancreatic insufficiency additional fat soluble vitamins may be indicated on a case by case basis. It is important to take a detailed history since certain symptoms may warrant further exploration. An example of this is night blindness or nyctalopia. When present this can be a sign of Vitamin A deficiency. Typically capsules or liquid vitamins are better absorbed.

What vitamin deficiencies might occur if I have celiac?

Dr. Rudert answers:

I see a wide variety of vitamin deficiencies and most can be easily corrected. The most common deficiency that I see is Vitamin D deficiency which may be associated with bone loss. It is also associated with muscle weakness and when severe, even mental status changes. Chronically low levels of Vitamin D may also be associated with migraines. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin so individuals that have limited sun exposure are at increased risk for deficiency in addition to African Americans and patients with renal insufficiency. Some patients may be deficient in iron, folate, B1, B6, and B12 to name a few.

Is it OK to take Vitamin D long term?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Since Vitamin D is fat soluble it can be stored in the body and toxic levels may occur especially with long term higher doses. Levels should be checked periodically. High (toxic) levels may be associated with a variety of problems including calcification of the kidneys. Anyone taking prescription Vitamin D (50,000 units of Vit D) needs to be closely followed.

What is the connection for celiacs of going gluten free and vitamin absorption?

Dr. Rudert answers:

The good news is once a patient goes gluten free their villi will start to heal and therefore absorption of vitamins and nutrients gradually improve. Children typically heal at a faster rate and generally my adult patients heal within one year. I find that in most people it takes four months to fully understand the nuances of a gluten free diet.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on probiotics! Upcoming RADIO SHOW: on January 17th, 2015, Dr. Cynthia Rudert will be interviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Gallup, host of Doc Talk, News Radio 106.7 the exciting new Cologuard non-invasive colon cancer and colon polyp test!

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